Three things you can talk about this week:

Clif Reeder
Clif Reeder
Clif Reeder

Talking Points

1. Gender and race in the 2008 presidential election

2. The pathos of Heath Ledger

3. Best-selling Japanese cellphone novels

And three things you can’t:

1. Rudy Giuliani

2. Tax rebates for high-income families

3. Lindsey Lohan’s new job at a morgue

Quotes of the week

“The gunfire was terrible. It made the walls shake. I really didn’t think we were going to get out.”
– Rosalba Padilla, a woman from Tijuana, Mexico, on a battle that broke out after federal officials raided the home of gunmen allegedly affiliated with drug traffickers. Padilla and her 19-year-old daughter were hiding in a closet in their house during the fighting

“I was so swollen, I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, is it going to stay like this?’ “
– Ashley Tisdale, the 22-year-old actress and singer, on a nose job she got in November, which is supposed to correct a deviated septum that has caused her breathing problems

“I got my butt kicked.”
– John Edwards, in an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, on his major defeat in Saturday’s Nevada Democratic caucuses, in which he placed third and received only 4 percent of the vote

YouTube Video of the Week

A warning to Scientologists

Probably much to the chagrin of Tom Cruise, the Church of Scientology has been attacked. And if this video is any indication, it seems like the assailants mean business.

In this eerie video, an internet group named Anonymous (clever, right?) vows to destroy the Church of Scientology and prevent it from indoctrinating the masses. Recently, the group launched a denial of service attack on Scientology.org, a move that apparently marked only the beginning of its campaign.

The video starts with a chilling “Hello,” delivered in a robotic monotone. Meanwhile, greenish-gray clouds swirl across the screen, and the tips of two nondescript buildings are barely visible beneath the sky. After reciting a list of grievances against scientology, the voice continues: “Anonymous has therefore decided that your organization should be destroyed for the good of your followers, for the good of mankind and for our own enjoyment.”

Ominous drums kick in. The sky gradually darkens. The robotic voice drones on.

Beware, Tom.

– Brian Tengel

See this and other YouTube videos of the week at youtube.com/user/michigandaily

Theme Party Suggestion

House (hunting) party – The value of the dollar is down and the housing market is in shambles. In order to capitalize on the slump in housing prices, throw a party to convince your friends to go in on a real estate investment. A couple thousand in extra loans won’t mean anything when you bank on that four-bedroom tudor. Seriously, guys!

Throwing this party? Let us know. TheStatement@umich.edu

Study of the Week

Caffeine consumption increases risk of miscarriage

Pregnant women who drink more than 200 milligrams of caffeine a day are twice as likely to have a miscarriage as women who don’t drink caffeine at all, according to a study published Monday in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Two hundred milligrams of caffeine equals about two cups of coffee or five cans of soda. According to the study, it doesn’t matter whether the source of caffeine is coffee, tea, soda or hot chocolate.

Researchers examined 1,063 women who were in the early stages of pregnancy. Out of the 172 women who miscarried, 12.5 percent consumed no caffeine during pregnancy. But the researchers found that 25.5 percent of women who drank more than 200 milligrams of caffeine a day miscarried.

According to Dr. De-Kun Li, the principal author of the study, caffeine can be hard for the fetus to metabolize and can decrease blood flow.

– Brian Tengel

By he Numbers

27,278 – Number of applications Harvard received for next year’s freshman class, a new record.

19 – Percent more applications Harvard received this year compared to last year.

3,200,000 – Number of high school seniors who will graduate in 2009, the largest graduating class in U.S. history.

Source: The New York Times

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